“Left Behind,” the latest episode of HBO’s hit game-turned-show The Last of Us, detailed a blossoming relationship between Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and new character Riley Abel (Storm Reid). Several weeks ago the heartbreaking “Long, Long Time” delivered a love story between Murray Bartlett as Frank and Nick Offerman as Bill, drawing broad acclaim along with some negative remarks from homophobic viewers.
Entertainment Weekly wrote that in an interview, Reid “admits the inevitable homophobic response did cross her mind” leading up to “Left Behind.”
“Like Bella said when episode three came out: If you don’t like it, don’t watch,” Reid told the outlet. “We are telling important stories. We’re telling stories of people’s experiences, and that’s what I live for. That’s what makes good storytelling, because we are telling stories of people who are taking up space in the world.”
The 19-year-old continued, “It’s 2023. If you’re concerned about who I love, then I need you to get your priorities straight. There’s so many other things to worry about in life. Why are you concerned that these young people—or anybody—love each other? Love is beautiful, and the fact that people have things to say about it, it’s just nonsense.”
Speaking to Variety, the Euphoria cast member focused on those who appreciate LGBTQ+ characters getting the spotlight, saying, “you prioritize looking at those tweets rather than the ones that aren’t the best.”
Dismissing intolerant viewers after “Long, Long Time” aired, Bella Ramsey, also 19, said, “I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out. It isn’t gonna make me afraid.”
Elsewhere in Reid’s EW chat, the A Wrinkle in Time star took pride in what she brought to the series. “I’m not only representing women. I’m representing young Black women and I’m representing young queer women that are experiencing new feelings and new relationships.” She’s also thrilled with what she and Ramsey came up with, adding, “There’s just so much that goes into the complexity of what the episode is. And furthermore, the complexity of what Ellie and Riley’s relationship is I find just so beautiful.”